In the topic of bike helmets, there is a question circulating around cyclists. It is whether “do bike helmets expire?” or “how long is the lifespan of bike helmets?”. Simply, the answer is yes, even when it still looks perfectly fine. In this article, we will be talking about the technicalities of your bike helmet’s expiration date. Do not worry, it is still simple and easy to understand! Let’s jump right in!
Bike Helmets Expiration Date
The most trusted answer for bike helmets’ expiration date is around 5 years. This number was tested and set as standard by the Snell Memorial Foundation. It is a non-profit organization that was named after a guy who died in a racing accident when his helmet failed to protect him.
With that said, this number is a recommendation. This does not mean that every helmet will last 5 years. There are also other obvious signs or circumstances where you need to replace your bike helmet right away.
Three Factors of the 5 Years Standard
As mentioned earlier, The Snell Memorial Foundation went through some testing and research to finally come out with the 5 years standard. There are 3 factors that they found and determined as the basic reasons.
Factor #1 Materials
Just like any other materials, the ones used for your bike helmet will also degrade over time. Especially because of the UV rays. When you are cycling, the sun beating down on you will actually make the hardshell become brittle. The hardshell is what keeps the EPS foam inside stay intact. So, if the outer layer weakens, then it will not serve the maximum protection as it should.
This is also a reminder for you to store your helmet basikal properly. Store it away from direct sunlight and places that can get to extreme temperatures. Plus, store it upright instead of upside down. Even though the EPS foam is a durable material, it can degrade faster when it is exposed to UV rays and other substances.
Factor #2 Chemicals
Your bike helmet materials can also degrade because of contact with other chemicals or substances. Starting from soap, sunblock, cosmetics, sebum, and sweat. It is not as sensitive to the point where just several washing or use will ruin your bike helmet’s foam. But, it is a factor you need to be aware of.
Additionally, in your bike station, there will be various chemicals such as degreaser, lubricants, and soaps. Make sure any of these chemicals does not come in contact with your bike helmet by storing it properly. When it comes to cleaning and washing, remove the pads before using a soap. If you really want to wash the padding off of sweat and sebum, opt for a gentle soap, specifically ones that are made for helmet washing.
Factor #3 Technology
The technology that goes into making your bike and its essentials are always evolving, especially when it comes to safety technologies. The helmet basikal you have from several years back, even in its perfect condition, will not be able to offer as much protection as today’s innovation for bicycle helmets. So, it is a good idea to invest and upgrade the safety for when you are cycling.
Signs It Is Time To Replace Your Bike Helmet
So, since the 5 years standard is a recommendation, how do you know exactly when it is time to replace your helmet basikal? Here’s a quick guide!
Check The Manufacturing Date
First, it is a good idea to follow the standards set. Your bike helmet will not put its exact expiration date on the label inside. But, you can look for the manufacturing date and base it off on that. Also, brands can have their own recommendations of expiration date. Make sure to check with the brand, because some can even recommend 3 years of lifespan instead of all the way to 5 or even 10.
An obvious one would be when you experience a crash. Especially, when you are able to notice visible dents or cracks. When your helmet takes an impact, its absorbing ability will degrade instantly. So, replace your bike helmet with a new one right away!
From the previous explanation, we can conclude that any bumps or knocks are possible to give an impact to your bicycle helmet. Even an invisible 1mm reduction in the thickness of your bike helmet’s foam lining can downgrade the absorbing ability significantly.
Also, check the straps and buckles, as it is easier to find degradation on these parts. The straps and buckles keep your helmet stay firmly in its place, especially during a crash. If it starts to get loose, it is time for you to replace it with a new one to get your protection back.
So that concludes our guide on your helmet basikal expiration date. If you want to learn more about the signs when you should replace your bicycle helmet, click here.
We understand that it can be frustrating if you have to spend some money on something that still looks perfectly fine. So, if you want to prolong the lifespan of your helmet and get the best use out of it, you can get tips here.
If you are looking for a new bike helmet, shop one from Rodalink Malaysia! You can look for kedai basikal near me and head to the store location closest to you. Our team is ready to pair you up with our high quality bicycle helmets! You can also shop online to enjoy free local delivery service and even 0% installment from our various payment methods.